Video

How Important Is Physical Touch In A Relationship?

According to research, all a couple needs to do is watch rom-coms and sappy movies together and talk about them to help their relationship.

Related on TestTube:
The Neuroscience of Love
Can You Love Your Dog More Than Your Baby?

Each week on TestTubePlus, we pick one topic and cover it from multiple angles. This series will be taking a deeper look at the science of love and human connection. Over these five episodes, host Trace Dominguez will be talking about how love affects us, the different types of love, and how people express love differently. So far, Trace has explained how the different stages of love affect our body and the difference between the love we feel for our pets versus the love we feel for our offspring. Today, he explores how importance of physical touch in a relationship.

Research from The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology suggests that staying in a relationship might be as easy as watching some silly romantic movies together. According to their study, couples that watched just three relationship movies in a month, and then talked about them, saw their rates of divorce fall by half, from 24 percent to 11 percent, which statistically is just as effective as couples therapy. A study published by Oxford University found that women are more likely than men to change their opinion of others after they kissed them. Researchers surveyed over 900 adults, asking them questions like, "How important do you think kissing is at the very initial stages of a relationship?" There are differences in romantic love between men and women: women rated kissing as all-around more important in relationships than men did.

These difference might be related to some fundamental differences between how men and women express their love. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of popular relationship book "The 5 Love Languages", the five "love languages" are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. This suggests that everyone may have their a "love language" of their own and expresses their love towards others in different ways. Recognizing this--that someone else's love language might be different from your own--might help people fall in love and stay in love, which is the topic we'll be covering in tomorrow's episode.

TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each week, host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on big topics like boobs, porn, the ocean, stereotypes, fear, survival, dreams, space travel, and many more.

TestTube Plus is now available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

Learn More:

Divorce rate cut in half for newlyweds who discussed 5 relationship movies (Eureka Alert)
"Discussing five movies about relationships over a month could cut the three-year divorce rate for newlyweds in half, researchers report. The study, involving 174 couples, is the first long-term investigation to compare different types of early marriage intervention programs."

I like my dog, does my dog like me? (Applied Animal Behaviour)
"In this study, the possibility of there being an association between how an owner perceives his/her relationship to their dog and the way the dog experiences the relationship to its owner was investigated using two well-established methods within the anthrozoology literature."

Patterns of Brain Activation when Mothers View Their Own Child and Dog: An fMRI Study (PLOSone)
"Neural substrates underlying the human-pet relationship are largely unknown. We examined fMRI brain activation patterns as mothers viewed images of their own child and dog and an unfamiliar child and dog."

This Is Your Brain on Heartbreak (Greater Good)
"As most of us know all too well, when you're reeling from the finale of a romantic relationship that you didn't want to end, your emotional and bodily reactions are a tangle: You're still in love and want to reconcile, but you're also angry and confused; simultaneously, you're jonesing for a "fix" of the person who has abruptly left your life, and you might go to dramatic, even embarrassing, lengths to get it, even though part of you knows better."

Study: Women hurt more by breakups but recover more fully (Eureka Alert)
"Women experience more emotional pain following a breakup, but they also more fully recover, according to new research from Binghamton University. Researchers from Binghamton University and University College London asked 5,705 participants in 96 countries to rate the emotional and physical pain of a breakup on a scale of one (none) to 10 (unbearable)."